Silk furs: sustainable innovation in fashion

In recent decades, there has been a growing interest in the use of sustainable materials in the fashion industry – a trend that has especially affected fur garments.
Synthetic or eco furs, known as “faux fur” in the fashion lingo, have been gaining popularity since the 1960s, both for ethical reasons, related to growing animal welfare concerns, and economic reasons, owing to lower production costs compared to traditional furs. Replicating animal hair, fake fur has radically changed the fashion landscape, becoming a symbol of style but also of ethical awareness.


Famous anti-fur campaigns have left their mark on public opinion over the years. In 1996, Marina Ripa di Meana caused a sensation by appearing naked in a photo in front of La Scala in Milan with “No fur” written across her chest. In 2017, Brigitte Bardot, a staunch animal rights activist since the 1960s, had shocking posters with the message J’aime les animaux… morts! [I love animals… dead!] plastered all over Paris. The following year, many actresses posed naked for PETA’s “We’d rather go naked than wear fur” campaign.

But what’s the difference between synthetic and eco furs?

The term eco furs is often used to include synthetic furs made of artificial fibres such as acrylic, polyester or nylon. But the term best applies to furs for which natural fibres, such as cotton, viscose and silk, are used.

Hooded cardigan by Brunello Cucinelli – Source:

One example of note is silk-bound cashmere, which appeared on the market around a decade ago. This fur offers timeless elegance but has a low environmental impact. Referred to in the jargon as having “natural-fibre pile and knit”, these furs use silk as a binding material, providing a soft, durable base, and offering superior quality.


Fur made of 100% silk or mixed with other natural fibres is also being explored.
In recent years, another form of eco fur has been created: plant-based fur like KOBA® Fur-Free Fur, presented in 2021 on the catwalks of Paris by fashion designer Stella McCartney, and promoted by Sophia Loren.

These innovations all offer a cruelty-free alternative to traditional fur, while also representing a real sustainable revolution in the world of fashion.

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